Valhalla: Legend of Thor (2019) Movie Review

Director: Fenar Ahmad

Writer: Fenar Ahmad, Adam August (Screenplay) Peter Madsen (Comics)

Starring: Roland Moller, Salome Gunnarsdottir, Patricia Schumann, Jacob Lohmann, Andreas Jessen, Lara Johanna Jonsdottir, Saxo Moltke-Leth, Cecilia Loffredo

Plot: The Viking children Røskva and Tjalfe embark on an adventurous journey from Midgard to Valhalla with the gods Thor and Loki. Life in Valhalla, however, turns out to be threatened by the dreaded Fenrir wolf and the god’s barbaric archenemies, the Jotnar. Side by side with the gods the two children must fight to save Valhalla from the end of the world – Ragnarok.

Tagline – Let the journey begin

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dark Norse God Story

Story: Valhalla: Legend of Thor starts in a small village where children Tjalfe (Moltke-Leth) and Roskva (Loffredo) live, they get visits from Gods, with Thor (Moller) being one of the most regular, Thor offers to take Tjalfe and Roskva back to Valhalla, the home of the Gods, with his brother Loki (Al-Jabouri), where the two will have a chance to learn about the home of the Gods.

As the two children learn more about Valhalla, they find themselves separated, with Roskva learning she could be part of a prophecy that could bring about the end of the Valhalla, with the Ragnarok event happening, the two must work with the Gods to stop this happening.

Thoughts on Valhalla: Legend of Thor

Characters – Tjalfe is the mortal who is selected to go to Valhalla, he is taken and takes his young sister in this journey, where he starts to lose his faith in the gods, falling into the hands of the giants, the greatest enemies of the gods. Roskva is the younger sister who learns her place in the world, she is bigger than the gods believed, being a sign for the end of the world in Valhalla, proving herself along the way. Thor is guiding the mortals through Valhalla, he isn’t like anything we have seen in comic book movies, but he is a warrior that will step up to any challenge, Loki is calmer and smarter that his brother, he will fight when needed, but is always needing to be watched.

PerformancesWe have a strong cast here with both child stars Cecilia Loffredo and Saxo Moltke-Leth both showing the learning side, while the God characters played by Roland Moller and Dulfi Al-Jabouri working very well too, being different to anything we have seen before.

StoryThe story here follows two mortals being taken to the world of the gods, where they find themselves important parts of the battle for power between the gods and giants. When you hear the name Thor, you automatically think of the Marvel superheroes, plenty of flash, only the original origins of Thor, Odin, Loki and others comes from Norse mythology, this story dives into the Norse mythology for the story showing the heroes like warriors instead of superheroes, what we end up with is something that we have seen many legends, myth or fables of the past achieve in the battle to survive. It does show us how gods were seen from the history behind them, showing us a new way to understand the heroes of the past.

AdventureThe adventure takes the two children are taken to a new world where they are able to make an impact in a fight for the land, a position they have never been able to be in at their home.

SettingsThe locations used are beautiful, with the open spaces being truly breath taking, while the interiors showing the darker environment the characters would be in.

Scene of the Movie – Fenrir first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The contests.

Final Thoughts This is a much darker, but truer to the origin of the Norse gods mythology, it is an adventure that shows the reason for the connection between the two worlds.

Overall: Entertaining Mythology Movie.

Signature Entertainment presents Valhalla: Legend of Thor on DVD & Digital HD from June 29th

The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark (1980) Movie Review

Director: Charles Jarrott

Writer: Steven W Carabatsos, Sandy Glass, George Arthur Bloom (Screenplay) Ernest K Gann (Story)

Starring: Elliott Gould, Genevieve Bujold, Ricky Schroder, Vincent Gardenia, Tammy Lauren, John Fujioka, Yuki Shimoda

Plot: When a plane carrying various animals makes a forced landing on a desert island, the only chance to escape is to convert the plane into a boat.

Tagline – On a wing and a prayer… they built a legend.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Little Adventure

Story: The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark starts as debt riddled Noah Dugan (Gould) is given a chance to clear some of his debts with a flight for a missionary Bernadette Lafleur (Bujold) who is trying to take some animals to a remote island in the Pacific, knowing how difficult the flight is with animals, Noah reluctantly agrees, unaware children Bobby (Schroder) and Julie (Lauren) have boarded the plane.

When the plane ends up going off course, the plane lands on another island, one that still has Japanese soldiers on believing the war is still on going and they must try and put the differences aside to survive the island.

Thoughts on The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark

Characters – Noah Dugan has left himself in debt to loan sharks that are looking to get their money back, he has 24-hours to find the funds, which sees him turn to every person who could give him a pilot job, with his last resort being Stoney, a flight he doesn’t want to make, but sees as his chance to escape for now. He doesn’t like the idea of animals and once he learns the children have joined it only makes him grumpier, even if he will always try to do the right thing. Bernadette Lafleur is the missionary looking to make a difference on an island colony, she is leaving the orphanage to make this happen, with the word of God by her side, she is the one that always remains calm during each crisis they face. Bobby and Julie are the two children that sneak onto the plane as they want to be with their animals, they just make everything more difficult for the adults.

PerformancesElliott Gould in the leading role is great to watch, he reacts like any normal person through the situations they handle. Genevieve Bujold is strong too being the opposite to Gould through the film, while the child stars do bring the annoying side required.

StoryThe story follows a reluctant pilot and the missionary group he is transporting crash land on an island and they must figure out how to get off the island alive. This story is focused on putting aside differences to achieve things, with the opposite mindset of both Noah and Bernadette needing to show they can both help each other escape the island. It does try to reflect the biblical story of Noah’s ark, which is doesn’t reach the levels of in anyway, but ends up doing everything right for a safe escape from desert island story.

Adventure The adventure side of the film is all about trying to survive the island, it does let the children feel like they are enjoying themselves.

SettingsThe film is set mostly on the desert island, it looks beautiful and has everything you would expect to see on one, working perfectly for the film.

Scene of the Movie – Set sail.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How did they get the cow in the boat part?

Final Thoughts This is an interesting adventure that checks off the boxes with ease, has a strong lead with a safe adventure to survive.

Overall: Enjoyable Adventure.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – R – Rough Stuff (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Adams

Writer: Jonathan Adams (Screenplay)

Starring: Gareth Rickards, Vincent Andriano, Sam Glissan, Katie Garfield, Jamie Kristian, Hayley Sullivan, Adam Horner

Plot: An activist group makes a deal with treasure-seeking Rovers and their modified four-wheel-drives for an expedition through treacherous Australian terrain. Tensions rise and ulterior motives are revealed with exciting off-road chases, daring rescues and amazing discoveries to follow.

Tagline – No Roads. No Worries.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Adventure 101

Story: Rough Stuff starts as three treasure seekers Buzz (Rickards), Abe (Andriano) and Scraps (Glissan) agree to help an activist group containing, Skye (Garfield), Eric (Kristian), Tom (Horner) and Tori (Sullivan) to travel across the Australian outback in search for the treasure, while the activists are searching for a place for their campaign.

As the group are on their journey they find themselves being hunted down by a bounty hunter, which adds the intensity to the adventure and chase across the outback.

Thoughts on Rough Stuff

Characters – Buzz, Abe and Scraps are rovers that travel around the outback searching for treasure, they get themselves in trouble more often than not, which sees them agreeing to work with the activists that are travelling around the outback, they know how the survive the conditions and know how the avoid capture from the ruthless Ranger. Tori, Tom, Skye and Eric are activists that are looking to go out to the outback to film a video which will spread their message, while not all of them are as trustworthy as the rovers are being told about.

PerformancesThe performances in the film aren’t the most convincing, with most of the being filled into the generic, with the rovers being typical outback figures, while the activists just feel like they are made to be hippies.

StoryThe story follows treasure hunters and activists that reluctantly team up to take down a corrupt plan to destroy the popular outback that has been part of the history for years, while trying to find the treasure that is only part of myth. This isn’t the most entertaining story, it tries to keep changing the character’s mindsets through the film which just doesn’t connect with the characters through the film. It does have moments which could have been a lot more fun then they come off, because that does seem to be the plan here too.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film is mostly following the race around the outback, which puts our characters on an adventure which will help them make it through the events of the film.

SettingsThe film is set in the outback, which is a great beautiful backdrop to everything we are seeing the film.

Scene of the Movie – The chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters decision changes.

Final Thoughts This is an adventure film that tries to do a lot more than it needs to, which only takes away from the fun it wants to be having.

Overall: Simple adventure film.

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

Writer: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz (Screenplay)

Starring: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Jon Bernthal, Thomas Haden Church

Plot: Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Movie

Story: The Peanut Butter Falcon starts as we meet a down syndrome young man Zak (Gottsagen) who dreams of being a wrestler, but is stuck in a care home sharing a room with Carl (Dern) under the care of Eleanor (Johnson), he has been trying to escape before and when he finally does, he meets Tyler (LaBeouf) a rebel who is fighting for his place in a fishing world.

As Tyler reluctantly agrees to help Zak, the two go on an adventure through the outdoors to make it to the wrestling school to live his dream of becoming a wrestler like his hero Salt Water Redneck (Church), even though Eleanor is trying to find him before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Peanut Butter Falcon

Characters – Zak is a down syndrome young man that is living in a nursing home with nobody else offering him a place to live, he loves wrestling and wants to make this his dream to become a wrestler, which sees him running away from the nursing home, meeting Tyler and having his first adventure. Tyler is a drifter working on the local fishing area, that has found himself getting into trouble with the locals, needing to go on the run, where he ends up meet Zak, reluctantly teaching him about life. Eleanor is the carer that has always looked after Zak, she has become concerned about his desire to move away and after he runs away, she must go in search of him, needing to learn more about opening up to his own desire in life.

PerformancesZack Gottsagen is wonderful in the leading role showing all the delight and pain his character is going through. Shia LaBeouf is going down the right path here, doing the roles which require him to show his skills rather than cash heavy roles. Dakota Johnson is great too, with the supporting cast that all work wonderfully through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young down syndrome man who decides to run away from the nursing home he is living in, with dreams of becoming a wrestler where he meets a lost drifter who teaches him more about life, while chasing his dream. This is a story that is similar to the story of Mark Twain with a fresh approach, with one of the clear messages being, not to judge somebody on a disability they have, they can achieve as much as anybody else. This is a joy to watch as a story, seeing how the two bond and just have a life adventure.

Adventure/Comedy The adventure side of this film, sees two unlikely men at different stages of their lives spending a couple of days together learning about life, it is inspiring to see how people might react to life, while getting a couple of laughs along the way, with the friendship.

SettingsThe film uses the back-water locations to show the drifter lifestyle to which Zak has fallen into and one that Tyler can navigate.

Scene of the Movie – The match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing really.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful movie that can be enjoyed by all, one that has a clear message about treating everyone equal and one that will leave you feeling good by the end.

Overall: True Delight.

Emerald Run (2020) Movie Review

Director: Eric Etebari

Writer: Anthony Caruso (Screenplay)

Starring: David Chokachi, John Schneider, Chris Mulkey, Yancy Butler, Michael Pare, Vernon Wells, Angela Gots

Plot: A Desperate man gets involved in a risky plan to smuggle emeralds across the Mexican border in order to save his daughter’s life. When the deal goes awry and he is left for dead

Tagline – Family is everything

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Paced

Story: Emerald Run Starts as John Thomas (Chokachi) a former criminal that needs to raise money for his daughter Lisa’s medical bills, which sees him reunite with a former boss Alfio Sarda (Mulkey) which would see him look to smuggle diamonds across the border.

When the job goes wrong, John is left for dead in the desert, he must find his way back to safety to bring down the person that has set him up.

Thoughts on Emerald Run

Characters – John Thomas is getting to new lengths to try and help his family, he agrees to help his father-in-law, which sees him try and smuggle some emeralds over the border, only to be left for dead and needing to fight to survive to expose the truth. Alfio Sarda is the father-in-law that will do anything to make more money, he has a reputation for being a man that will give people opportunities, as quick as he will take them away. Anna is the wife of John’s who challenges John’s faith when it comes to fighting their daughter’s illness. We do meet plenty of other people who are all interested in the emeralds and money involved.

PerformancesDavid Chokachi in the leading role does bring the character to life, which is the only performance that gets enough time to make something out of his character and their limited screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a father that agrees to go on a risk smuggling run to help get the funds for his daughter’s medical treatment, only to be left for dead. This is a story that does have the right motivation for John to be going on the job, but it does seem to make him look to desperate, when he doesn’t need to be, we do have a religious theme in the film, which doesn’t help, as John is conflicted with the ideas behind the survival. The story never really feels as intense as it should be and ends up feeling flat throughout.

AdventureThe adventure does take John on a job which doesn’t go to plan, forcing him to try and survive in the wilderness.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how harsh the environment John is travelling through will be on his mind and body.

Scene of the Movie – Home.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It felt very slow.

Final Thoughts This is a by the books adventure movie that focuses on how far people would go for family and what is worth risking for them.

Overall: Flat Adventure film.